Sundeer 64 Cutter Szél – A Blast From The Past

Sundeer 64 Cutter Szel 1017

We were cruising down Maine’s Eggemoggin Reach, having a Skype conversation with New Zealand regarding the exhaust system on the FPB 97, when we noticed a cool looking roach profile heading towards us. Having just spent several invigorating days watching working schooners with gaff rigs and topsails, an early platform not too far from the most modern high roach mainsails, we thought “Wow, look how similar these are.”

As the profile drew closer it turned into a rig we knew well, the Sundeer 64 cutter. This was the yacht we’d earlier noticed moored in Smith Cove, a sistership to Raven.

Sundeer 64 Cutter Szel 1014

Designers, builders, and some owners often confuse rig height with performance. While this may hold true on race boats, in a cruising context the much more important issue is figuring out a size and configuration that will produce the most miles with short-handed crew. Our yachts have always made very fast passages on average, precisely because it is easy to keep them moving at a relatively fast pace. This Sundeer 64 rig is a classic example of this philosophy. Although vertically challenged, it has a very powerful combination of sails, one that allows its crew to keep pressing comfortably as the breeze builds.

Sundeer 64 Cutter Szel 1016

The big main, with its aggressive roach, has a much cleaner distribution of area, hence a high effective aspect ratio, than is the case with the near triangular shape of a typical rig and platform. This leads to significantly reduced induced drag, and proportionately improved drag angles and lift vectors. All of which leads to less loading of keel and rudder, less heeling, and much better VMG.

Sundeer 64 Cutter Szel 1013

There is function, of which rig efficiency is a big part. And then there are aesthetics, which for us is a combination of shape and their relative efficiency. We like this profile, a lot. It has a simple, clean look to it.

Sundeer 64 Cutter Szel 1015

We’ll leave you with a few more photos.

Sundeer 64 Cutter Szel 1018

Sundeer 64 Cutter Szel 1012

Sundeer 64 Cutter Szel 1011

Sundeer 64 Cutter Szel 1001

Finally, a word on anchor sprits/rollers. This design was put to the test during a major hurricane when a Sundeer 64 ketch was at anchor on one of the southern bays of Grenada. She was one of the few vessels to actually stay on her anchor, giving us some excellent engineering data on not only the sprit, but also the heat-treated high test alloy chain and chain stopper.

Post script: we’d like to get in touch with the owners of this Sundeer 64. We have some nice photos for them, and we’d like to keep track of their use of the boat. If you happen to know them, please have them get in touch with us, or send us the contact information.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 17, 2012)

12 Responses to “Sundeer 64 Cutter Szél – A Blast From The Past”

  1. Warren Cottis Says:

    Thank You !!!


  2. Steve Dashew Says:

    Happy to be able to oblige.

  3. David Guest Says:

    Looks like they have moved into the solar panel support phase very nicely….

  4. Bob N Says:

    Nice looking boat. I notice that the deckhouse is further forward than in the published drawings. Were there a number of layouts available? Also that she has running backs as well as a backstay. Are the runners necessary because of the staysail?

  5. Steve Dashew Says:

    There is just one layout for the deck. Without the mizzen mast things look different. Runners are for the staysail and when the mainsail is deeply reefed, with the head below the intersection of the cutter stay.

  6. Dave Tew Says:

    Eggemoggin Reach, when the wind is strong and water flat is pure heaven. A friend has an Aage Nielsen double-ended sloop. He had new sails made, and with the sailmaker aboard to tweak, we charged up and down The Reach gaining knots on each pass. I wanted it to never stop. The skipper on Seel looks like he’s enjoying the same thrilling magic.

  7. Bruce Kapteyn Says:

    That is one pretty set of sails! Great visibility for the driver. …and love that twist on the main’s leach.

  8. Alex F Says:

    Hi Steve, do you know if headsails can also be made more efficient with the use of battens? Does it work?

  9. Steve Dashew Says:

    Battens can be a huge benefit. We have used them in a vertical configuration on roller jibs to reduce or eliminate leech hollow (better plan form) and with staysails in horizontal layout.

  10. Guillermo Says:

    Hi ! where do I find these designs ? I’m trying very much to get some details on the sundeer series but I can’t find them…. I’m planing in start my boat for hight latitudes exploration and this project is just beautiful… Very interested in build one !

  11. Steve Dashew Says:

    The Sundeers are no longer in production, so you will need to look in the used boat market for one of these.

  12. Stephen Krompecher Says:

    “Szel” pronounced just like you pronounce “sail” is Hungarian for wind…
    In May this year it was in Belfast, Maine. It is a beauty. Hope to see it around this summer.